Muscle Maven – 19 April 2016

Damian 'The Muscle Maven' Murray (photo by snhfoto)

Just started Crossfit and already have my first injury! To be fair it is my own fault – going for 1RM push press and hyper extended my back. Very stiff and very painful – not been able to train in over a week and my son finds my occasional shouts in pain quite funny, which in turn makes me laugh which then hurts even more!


Started the BTN Practical Academy last Monday having completed the Foundation just over a week ago. This is something I have been waiting a long time to do – probably since I first saw that Ben had started the Academy (although it is a very different animal now) but the timing was never right – this is why I first completed the Precision Nutrition level 1 course as I was able to do it in my own time.

The reason I am doing this is I want to be able to set myself apart from the other PT’s out there who complete a short course, gain level 3 and then promote themselves as nutritionists, S and C coaches, contest prep coaches etc. despite never continuing any learning that would actually qualify them to be any of these (even throughout the course we are recommended to call ourselves Nutrition Coaches rather than Nutritionists). At the moment I am undecided whether I even want to move into coaching – much of what I learn is done purely because I enjoy learning.

This week focused on critical thinking. In a nutshell the idea is that you question everything (well, almost) and how to apply logic to certain things you read, hear etc. I have become much more critical as I have grown older (I am only 38) but I think many of us need to apply this to many aspects of our life. As this is primarily a fitness/moneysaving blog I will stick to those 2 subjects!

It seems we are always quick to part with our hard earned cash. Go into any gym and you will be faced with many PT’s (or perhaps even assigned one) who will attempt to change every aspect of your life as you went in with the idea you wanted to lose a little weight but walk out with a 12 week contest prep program before you ‘compete’ in your first competition. What they have done is pushed their goals onto you. You have bought into this and quickly parted with your hard earned cash. There is also the chance that the PT is not really qualified in any way to take you on this journey. Even more dangerous if you went to see them as you need rehab and they happily prescribe a program for you even though they have done nothing other than the standard PT course and should really be referring you out! Yes – I have seen both of the above examples. In fact I know of one PT that promotes himself as an ‘injury rehab specialist’ – I think I will stick with my correctly qualified physio thanks!

You see, this is where you need to put on your critical thinking hat. Find out what you can about the PT. Check them out online. Speak to clients, try to find former clients. Read any content they may have put out, perhaps see if you can have an informal chat with them – you get the idea. You are going to be parting with your hard earned cash, more importantly you are also putting your health and well being on the table – you need to find out if they can help you in a responsible and professional manner. I can write a program in 2 mins that will thrash the living hell out of you and put you on so few calories that you will feel like death – the needle on the scale will continue to move the right way but you just won’t care. Sadly I see many selling and promoting this and they will continue to do so while enough people are willing to part with their cash without doing any research – but then everyone wants to be ‘shredded’ don’t they?

My Money Saving advice is going to be far, far simpler. One line in fact. And you know it…

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!


95p mince. Don’t really need to say anything else! Also worth checking the weekly specials (or your e-mail) as they have some great deals this week.


Free liquid chalk when you spend £25 using code ‘weekly’ – lots of other bargains to easily make up £25 on site.

HotUKDeals  / Florida

It seems there are some crazy cheap flights to be had if you are able to grab some holiday within the next 6 weeks.

Damian Murray - Author